comma after 'and' [conjunction]; question period / question, period

1site2c

New Member
English
I don't know where to place a comma in the following sentence. Any help would be appreciated.


All of us are very eager to see the presentation and we particularly look forward to the question period.


Thanks, 1site2c
 
  • 1site2c

    New Member
    English
    I think a comma would go after the word presentation. But the word and in there throws me off. So I just can't be sure.

    1site2c
     

    bianconera

    Senior Member
    Italiano (Roma) - English USA
    I don't think you need it either. If you are listing more than one item then you use it after "and"

    For example:

    I am eager to see the presentation, the drama, and the question session.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I think it should go after question, since here "period" means "full stop" not "period of time". Without a comma it suggests that "question period" is one thing, "a time for questions".
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    I think it should go after question, since here "period" means "full stop" not "period of time". Without a comma it suggests that "question period" is one thing, "a time for questions".
    G'day Tim,
    I'm not sure that I understand you.
    Are you saying that the sentence finishes with two full stops?

    .,,
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    G'day Tim,
    I'm not sure that I understand you.
    Are you saying that the sentence finishes with two full stops?

    .,,
    Hi .,, - no, I don't know about Australian English but this symbol "." that I would call a "full stop" is called a "period" in American English. So when you say, or rather when an American says "I don't want to do something period" it means "I don't want to do it full stop" eg "I don't want to do it at all". So I think the sentence given should have a comma before the word period, the whole thing meaning "...and we look forward to the question, that's for sure!".

    See what I mean?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Don't you mean a "question period" as in a question and answer session? If that's the case, you wouldn't put a comma after "question"...
    Yes, absolutely - if the sense is meant to be "question period" as in Q+A session then Dimcl is right. However, I must add that in that case I can't see where else the comma would be in the sentence.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I would place a comma before "and." When a coordinating conjunction joins two independent clauses, it is usually preceded by a comma unless the clauses are so short that misreading is highly unlikely.

    Of course, there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to commas in English, but this seems to be a question from a test or exercise of some sort. A comma seems to be expected.

    I am 99% sure that "question period" here means "question-and-answer session."
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    I would place a comma before "and."

    I would put a comma there, too. I kind of think it is better to use it, because there are two different subjects on each side of the sentence; well, not by meaning, but by grammar. "All of us" is not the same pronoun as "we," although it has the same meaning and conjugation.

    If you left out "we," you wouldn't put a comma:

    All of us are very eager to see the presentation and we particularly look forward to the question period.

    However, as you can see that it wouldn't work (and sound somewhat incomplete) without the "we," the second sentence is an independent clause, which requires - by definition - a comma. A conjunction like "and" or "but" in English cannot link two independent clauses by itself; a comma is usually needed. In an informal text, I wouldn't mind not seeing a comma there, but it's better to put one in essays or similar works.
     

    paulol

    Member
    UK English
    I am 99% sure that "question period" here means "question-and-answer session."
    I agree.

    "...we particularly look forward to the question, period" would be a pretty strange-sounding sentence.

    I also would put the comma before the "and".
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    I don't know where to place a comma in the following sentence. Any help would be appreciated.


    All of us are very eager to see the presentation and we particularly look forward to the question period.


    Thanks, 1site2c

    I would put a comma there, too. I kind of think it is better to use it, because there are two different subjects on each side of the sentence; well, not by meaning, but by grammar. "All of us" is not the same pronoun as "we," although it has the same meaning and conjugation.

    If you left out "we," you wouldn't put a comma:

    All of us are very eager to see the presentation and we particularly look forward to the question period.

    However, as you can see that it wouldn't work (and sound somewhat incomplete) without the "we," the second sentence is an independent clause, which requires - by definition - a comma. A conjunction like "and" or "but" in English cannot link two independent clauses by itself --yes it can ;) [Thomas]--; a comma is usually needed. In an informal text, I wouldn't mind not seeing a comma there, but it's better to put one in essays or similar works--both registers may or may not include a comma; it is contingent on need [Thomas].

    You can put a comma before and, however, it is not obligatory.
    All of us are very eager to see the presentation(,) and we particularly look forward to the question period.

    A coordinating conjunction and comma’s purposes are disparate. The former one aims at joining two independent clauses (i.e. that are grammatically equivalent), whereas, the later separates them (and, to tell the truth, this seems quite illogical if you use them both ;)). 1site2c, the sentence you gave is a one in which the first clause is described by the second. If you want to make a slight emphasis on the separateness of the two clauses and make the first clause look more important then it is a good reason to add a comma (i.e. the first clause is the carrier of the main piece of information and the second one adds some additional data-which, IYO, is (slightly) less important). However, if you think that your clauses make a kind of unity (i.e. one is quite close in relation to the other and they are equal in conveying the information) a comma is not necessary before a coordinating conjunction and it is a good idea to leave it out.

    There is also another possibility, namely, you could leave out and and insert a semi-colon right before the beginning of the second clause.

    You could also make a run-on sentence consisting of two independent clauses or make a subordinate clause out of the second one (inserting a comma before it).


    PS: I wouldn’t always rigidly follow the rules as they can be stifling. :)


    Tom
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Hi Thomas,

    I don't know where you got the idea that a comma's purpose is to separate. :) In English, commas are used for two main purposes:

    1.) to indicate an omission:
    I bought apples, oranges, lemons, and raspberries.
    (Here each of the comma replaces "and." The last comma is optional.)

    2.) to add clarity/to avoid a possible misreading:
    While eating, my dad likes to tell stories.
    (The comma here is used to avoid misreading the first part of the sentence.)

    The purpose of a comma before a coordinating conjunction that joins two independent clauses is to make it clear where one clause ends and the next one begins. As I said, this is not necessary in a sentence that is short enough to preclude ambiguity ("The bell rang and class began."). Personally, unless this is the case, I always use a comma before a coordinating conjunction that joins two independent clauses.

    Yes, you don't officially have to use the comma, but if it maximizes clarity, I consider it sensible and not at all "stifling." :)
     

    Cayuga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Actually, you do have to have the comma (at least as much as you "have to" do anything in English). Because, as several people have said, the two clauses on either side of "and" are complete sentences.

    All of us are very eager to see the presentation. We particularly look forward to the question period.

    All of us are very eager to see the presentation; we particularly look forward to the question period.

    All of us are very eager to see the presentation. And we particularly look forward to the question period.

    All of us are very eager to see the presentation, and we particularly look forward to the question period.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Hi Thomas,

    I don't know where you got the idea that a comma's purpose is to separate. :) In English, commas are used for two main purposes:
    Well, I am a tad taken aghast by this, I must admit—and I don’t know where you picked up the idea that it doesn’t but this is what everybody (in Poland at least) is taught at school. :) To me it is so obvious that I don’t quite remember where/when—probably at my primary school. You use a comma to separate and to clarify some things/ideas that you list; a , is also an indicator of separation from the rest of elements of a sentence. I am quite confident that you will find a similar explanation in books/dictionaries. :)

    The purpose of a comma before a coordinating conjunction that joins two independent clauses is to make it clear where one clause ends and the next one begins. As I said, this is not necessary in a sentence that is short enough to preclude ambiguity ("The bell rang and class began.").
    Thus it separates them, :) it’s the conjunction (as its suggestive name points it nicely out) that joins the independent clauses and the comma (its etymology is also very suggestive) that separates them from each other to indicate where one ends and another one begins.
    I know about the thing concerning short sentences but it is a different cup of tea in this case.
    One more thing you mentioned in your previous post and I forgot to mention. If this is indeed a sentence from a test on English punctuation, then I’d opt for a comma. Not because it is right to do so but because authors of such tests try to inculcate into students the right rules which are very often argumentative even among grammarians and sometimes they don’t even mirror the actual use of certain constructions, etc. used by natives. In brief, if you don't tikck off/pick the right answer (say, the right one according to a key) you are devoid of a point in spite of the fact that practical usage is different.


    Yes, you don't officially have to use the comma, but if it maximizes clarity, I consider it sensible and not at all "stifling."
    I agree and I think that each writer should have some intuition of where a comma should be inserted and when it shouldn’t. As for stifling rules I didn’t mean that they are all stifling except for some of them (and it’s a general statement rather than relating only to this particular issue).
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Thomas, if by "separate" you mean things like separating introductory adverb phrases, then I see what you mean.

    For example,

    On Wednesday, I went to the store.

    But the purpose of a comma with a coordinating conjunction is not to separate, but to maintain clarity as I have stated.

    This is something that I was repeatedly taught at my school (an American school in which English was taught as a first language, so it wasn't ESL). It is not a rule that is divorced from reality because you will find that most writers of English do use the comma. Leaving the comma out is a stylistic option, but the "default," if you will, is putting one in. Notice that Cayuga even said that you "have to"; with the exception of certain stylistic effects (and short sentences, but as you said, that's not what we're concerned with here), I would agree with that. If I were proofreading someone's essay, I would add a comma. Yes, the comma can be left out, but only in exceptional cases. There are many such "rules" that allow some flexibility, but that does not invalidate the rules or justify dismissing them. :)
     
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